A PIN GaAlAs diode structure is provided with parameters for index guiding of light in a single mode. The index of refraction of the central layer I (which in practice may be lightly doped .pi. or .nu.) is greater than the p- and n-layers to create a slab waveguide in the transverse direction. Stripe contacts define separate waveguide channels that are separated electrically and optically by implanting protons or etching grooves between the stripe contacts in the upper layer. Separate reverse biasing voltages may be applied to the stripe contacts for modulation of the light in proportions to the voltage, either with absorption modulation, if the light wavelength is within about 500.ANG. of the bandgap of the .pi.-material, or phase-delay modulation, if the wavelength is separated from the bandgap of the .pi.-material by at least 900.ANG..